Dr. Kirby's Blog

Are You Prepared for Your Surgery?

A successful surgical outcome depends on many factors, including things that happen before the actual surgery itself. Your emotional and physical health are important considerations, and you’ll want to be as healthy as possible before the big day arrives. I help my patients be pro-active by giving some solid advice on preparing for plastic surgery, both mentally and physically.

For example, do you know that there are certain herbs, supplements, and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications you should avoid before surgery? One of the most common OTC items to stay away from is aspirin, which inhibits clotting. While I will provide some specific pre-surgery recommendations as part of your consultation, I also offer a handy online A-to-Z guide about which substances you should eliminate from your daily routine. The two together will help you prepare and—just as important—know what not to do.

If you use herbal supplements or over-the-counter medicines, you’ll want to be sure to read everything in the guide, because you may be surprised at some of the items on the list. Among the more popular remedies mentioned are vitamin E, fish oil, echinacea, gingko biloba, goldenseal, valerian root, and St. John’s wort. Each of these supplements are to be avoided, for different reasons.

Are you a smoker? If so, you should know that smoking poses a variety of problems for cosmetic surgery. It constricts small blood vessels and leads to poor circulation in the skin, which has an adverse affect on procedures that rely heavily on normal circulation such as a facelift. Smoking impacts lung function and interferes with healing, so all patients are advised to stop smoking prior to surgery. Products such as nicotine gum must also be avoided, as they create the same vascular problems as cigarettes.

In addition to avoiding certain medications and supplements, what else can you do to be ready for cosmetic surgery? Let common sense and a moderate lifestyle be your guide. Regular exercise improves circulation and promotes restful sleep. Optimum nutrition helps your system in many ways. While rest and stress reduction are important to speedy healing, they are also vital in the weeks leading up to your plastic surgery. Patients who are prepared emotionally and physically recover quicker, have less pain, and experience fewer complications.

What you do before the big day will play a vital part in a successful outcome. Please let me know if you have any questions about your pre-surgery preparation; I’m happy to help.

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